A leading pair from The Phoenix Theatre & Arts Centre have partied at the palace in a national celebration of creativity.

Phoenix CEO Rob Allertson and dance officer Elizabeth Blake travelled from Bordon to Buckingham Palace last Wednesday to attend a Creative Industries Garden Party.

The pair were invited by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to a celebration of the UK’s “world-leading” creative industries and the organisations within them.

They rubbed shoulders from dozens of representatives from the creative sector at the shindig in central London to celebrate an industry that employs 2.4m and was worth £1.24bn in 2022.

Mr Allerston, who joined the theatre in December 2010, felt the invite was the culmination of 13 years of hard work with trustees, volunteers, staff and local organisations to shape The Phoenix into the “friendliest little venue that it is today”. 

The invite is also being viewed as a testament to an impressive legacy and an exciting future at the Station Road venue, with refurbishment work set to begin this summer.

He said: “What an honour for The Phoenix Theatre & Arts Centre to join some of the country’s best creative minds and practitioners in such a glorious setting.

“It’s also a celebration of our journey from a former Army school into becoming one of just under 1,000 Arts Council England National Portfolio organisations.”

He added: “This honour is a testimony to the aspirations of many, all of whom were with me in spirit at Buckingham Palace.”